- Vegetables: broccoli, cabbages, cauliflower, greens (leafy)
- Farm Business Management: budgets/cost and returns, marketing management, agricultural finance, market study, value added
- Sustainable Communities: infrastructure analysis, new business opportunities, partnerships, public participation, urban/rural integration
This planning project will address the lack of sufficient lucrative market opportunities for small scale, family-owned farms. A “Value Chain” concept will be used to organize a network of committed individuals and organizations in the Carolinas (Local Food Task Force) who will investigate and implement many different approaches to exploit existing market opportunities and to create new markets. The focus of this project will be on season-extension commodities, specifically organically-grown broccoli, greens and lettuces. The Task Force will develop a 3-year research and education plan to establish a local food market database, create linkages between farmers and the community, conduct model marketing programs, and to increase consumer interest in and demand for locally grown products. The planning project will culminate in a full proposal to be submitted to Southern SARE Research & Education Program.
Specific Objectives are:
1)Organize a network or infrastructure of committed individuals and organizations in the Carolinas (Local Food Task Force) who can investigate and implement many different approaches to exploit existing market opportunities and to create new markets for small, family-owned farming operations
2)Develop a research and education plan for a three year pilot project to expand and develop new markets for cool season vegetables. The plan will include the following: a) procedures to fill gaps in research and education related to production and marketing, b) provisions to establish linkages between farmers and the community including development of a local food market database accessible to farmers and consumers, c) procedures to conduct model marketing programs, and d) plans to increase consumer interest in and demand for locally grown products.
3)Develop a full proposal to implement the Project to the Southern SARE Research and Education Program to support the project.